Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2023, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (7): 978-987.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2022.0087

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Variations of trace-elements resorption efficiency in leaves of different tree species as affected by life forms in a mid-subtropical common garden

ZHANG Hui-Ling1, ZHANG Yao-Yi1, PENG Qing-Qing1, YANG Jing1, NI Xiang-Yin1,2, WU Fu-Zhong1,2,*()   

  1. 1Key Laboratory for Humid Subtropical Eco-Geographical Processes of the Ministry of Education, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
    2Fujian Sanming Forest Ecosystem National Observation and Research Station, Sanming, Fujian 365002, China
  • Received:2022-03-08 Accepted:2022-09-28 Online:2023-07-20 Published:2023-07-21
  • Contact: *WU Fu-Zhong(
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China(32171641);The National Natural Science Foundation of China(31922052)


Aims Trees can resorb the nutrients from senescing leaves, which could reduce their dependence on the changing external nutrient availability and improve their adaptability to the environments. Compared with the well addressed macronutrients, however, trace elements have received far less attentions in their resorption efficiency. Therefore, we conducted a field sampling to address the variations in trace element resorption efficiency of the leaves of different tree species with different life forms in a common garden.

Methods In August 2019, we investigated the concentrations of five trace elements (Al, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu) in green and senescent leaves of eight tree species in a common garden in mid-subtropical region, and analyzed the resorption efficiency of these elements to explore the nutrient use strategies.

Important findings Evergreen trees (including needleleaf and broadleaf species) exhibited relatively higher resorption efficiencies of Mn, Zn and Cu than deciduous broadleaf trees, although there were insignificant resorption characteristics of Al and Fe regardless of tree species. Higher Mn resorption efficiencies (>30%) were detected in Pinus massoniana and Cinnamomum camphora than in other tree species, while the resorption efficiencies of Mn were insignificant from zero in Castanopsis carlesii, Michelia macclureiand Sapindus saponaria. In contrast, the resorption efficiencies of Zn in Cinnamomum camphoraand Cu in Liriodendron chinensewere 67% and 52% respectively. Liquidambar formosana showed obvious accumulation of Zn and Cu in senescent leaves (-30% and -23%). Moreover, negative correlations were observed between the resorption efficiency of trace elements and the content of corresponding soil elements, and the nutrient resorption efficiency of trace elements displayed synergy relationships with that of major elements. These results strongly suggested that evergreen broadleaf species could develop better nutrient use strategies with more efficient resorption of trace elements than trees of other life forms in this region.

Key words: nutrient use strategy, trace element, nutrient resorption, common garden, subtropical forest